Who's who in the Swedish royal family?

With another high-profile wedding on the horizon, the world is talking about the Swedish royal family and HELLO! Online takes a look at their family tree to bring you everything you need to know ahead of the celebrations.

Since being founded in 1818, the House of Bernadotte has made its name as a modern monarchy with strong levels of public support. Shaped by the King to adapt to the current age, the Swedish royal family is regarded by many as the world's most contemporary reigning clan.

 

Swedish Royal Family



In a similar manner to Britain, the King is apolitical and his royal duties are mainly of a representative and ceremonial nature. As head of state, the King will receive foreign envoys and other heads of state, but will have no say on the government or Prime Minister’s political decisions.

 

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

The reigning King, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, has been head of state for the past 40 years. He inherited the crown from his grandfather, after his own father died in a plane crash in 1950 when the then Prince was only four years old.

Describing himself as being "shy my whole life", the 67-year-old has established himself as a well-respected figure, often disregarding old-fashioned traditions and choosing to do things his way.

When he was crowned King at the age of 27 in 1973, Carl chose the motto "For Sweden – with the times" and it is a principle he has stuck to throughout his reign, allowing the monarchy to adapt to the modern world.

Only the country's second sovereign to marry while on the throne, he disregarded centuries-old traditions that discouraged royals from marrying commoners, showing his strength of character.

In 1980 Sweden became the first monarchy to adopt absolute primogeniture, making the heir the first-born regardless of gender rather than the first-born male. This was just another of his steps to shake up established traditions.

An unofficial biography published a few years ago did cast a slight shadow over his reputation, however. 

The book, which the King is said not to have read, described his partying as a young man and linked him with a series of women including one affair in the Nineties with singer Camilla Henemark, which his wife Queen Silvia knew about.

At an impromptu press conference the monarch told journalists he'd talked to the Queen and "we will turn the page and go on". 

Many Swedish people appreciated that he addressed the issue head on and the royal family pulled together.

  

 

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Queen Silvia of Sweden

Working at the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 as an interpreter and educational host, young Silvia Renate Sommerlath, a German-Brazilian who lived in the city at the time, had no idea that she was about to meet her future husband. The pair said they knew it was love at first sight, with Carl Gustaf saying that it "just clicked".

The couple courted for four years before announcing their engagement in 1976. Three months later they were married and the young beauty became Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Known for her elegance and beauty, the Queen is a woman of many talents. She is a trained interpreter and speaks six languages, even dabbling in Swedish Sign Language.

She has set a strong example for her children and the nation with her charity work, having co-founded the World Childhood Foundation in 1999 to protect children from abuse.

She is also patroness of the "Queen Silvia Fund" operated by the World Scout Foundation, which raises funds for scouts with disabilities. Her broader work for the disabled granted her a prestigious German prize, the Deutscher Kulturpreis.

 

 



Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden

Victoria was the first-born child of Sweden's King and Queen, making her the first person to benefit from the change in legislation and become the heir to her father's throne. The 35-year-old is no stranger to the media, making public appearances worldwide including visits to soldiers in Afghanistan.

Acting as Head of State when her father is not in the country, Victoria is a strong, independent figure and a firm supporter of charities. She is founder of The Crown Princess Victoria Fund, a charity that helps fund leisure and activities for young people.

Her life has very much been lived in the public eye and in 2009 the Princess announced her engagement to her personal trainer Daniel Westling. In 2010 the couple celebrated their wedding with the public and in 2012, Victoria gave birth to their daughter, Princess Estelle. 

Like Kate Middleton and Prince William, she and Daniel are popular because they seem so in love. Victoria is also seen as down-to-earth. At their wedding, Daniel's father recalled the first time the family met her; in his speech he said they took her on a walk and she greeted everyone who crossed her path in such a friendly, natural way.
 

 



Prince Carl Philip

Prince Carl Philip is the second born and the only son of his parents. The 34-year-old, who is often required to undertake royal duties on behalf of his father, is known for his love of sport. In 2003, Carl Philip participated in the world's longest cross-country ski race and is currently racing and competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Scandinavia this month. The action man Prince completed his military service in 2000 as a combat boat commander and has since graduated to a lieutenant in the Swedish Navy.

The Prince has also studied graphic design for the last decade and personally designed the cover for the celebratory CD of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. He was also was voted ninth in Forbes magazine's list of "The 20 Hottest Young Royals".

His girlfriend of over three years, brunette beauty Sofia Hellqvist, is best known for modelling lingerie and her performance on reality TV show Paradise Hotel.  

 

 

 

Princess Madeleine

Princess Madeleine is the youngest of the children and the name on everyone's lips recently. Seen as the royal sweetheart by the press, the 30-year-old is preparing for her eagerly awaited marriage to British-American businessman, Christopher O’Neill.

The keen equestrian lived and studied in England in 2002 before returning to Stockholm where she studied art history. It hasn't always been easy for the young Princess — she had to call off her previous engagement after finding out her fiancé had an affair. Now living in New York, Princess Madeleine was once thought of as the perfect match for Prince William, but now has her own happily ever after to look forward to.

 

 

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